1. Sunrun vs SolarCity

Sunrun vs SolarCity

Jordan Grimmer
Jordan Grimmer | Senior Editor
Sunrun and SolarCity are two of the largest, most recognizable companies in the solar industry. Both of these solar giants have been in business for more than a decade and have helped hundreds of thousands of customers switch to solar. While Sunrun and SolarCity are somewhat similar in terms of what they offer, there are a few important differences to note.
Sunrun logo verified_user
#17 Sunrun
7.7 Overall Score
3.6
starstarstarstar_halfstar_border
(1,610)
SolarCity logo
#69 SolarCity
4.1 Overall Score
2.7
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(695)

Overview

Sunrun

SolarCity

Best Panels Available
Best Panels Available
Canadian Solar
SolarCity
Best Inverter Available
Best Inverter Available
SolarEdge
SolarCity
Workmanship Warranty
Workmanship Warranty
20 Years
10 Years
Equipment Warranty
Equipment Warranty
25 Years
20 Years
Payment Options Available
Payment Options Available
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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
Time In Business
Time In Business
14 Years
15 Years

Ratings

Sunrun

SolarCity

Overall Score
Overall Score
7.7 of 10
4.1 of 10
Review Score
Review Score
3.6
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2.7
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Value for Money
Value for Money
3.4
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2.3
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Quality of Product or Service
Quality of Product or Service
3.4
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2.3
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Customer Service
Customer Service
3.3
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2.0
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Company Trustworthiness
Company Trustworthiness
3.4
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2.0
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Likely to Recommend
Likely to Recommend
6.4 of 10
2.5 of 10

Reviews

Sunrun

SolarCity

Number of Reviews
Number of Reviews
1,610
695
Review Breakdown
Review Breakdown
3.6
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5 star
46%
4 star
17%
3 star
8%
2 star
6%
1 star
23%
2.7
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5 star
30%
4 star
10%
3 star
3%
2 star
7%
1 star
49%

Reviews for Sunrun

Helpful Favorable Review

starstarstarstarstar

Brent

February 27th, 2021 Stafford, VA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

Sunrun/Vivint Solar Customer service is top notch. I got multiple quotes and all in line but the quality of the panels are better. They don't try to stick you with a low quality system to maximize thier profits. Hugo vs BMW. Great communications and follow thru.


Helpful Critical Review

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Kimberly Ashbaugh

February 27th, 2021 Tucson, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Customer service
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Company trustworthiness
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I would give them 0 stars if I could. Our 34 panel system is supposed to be 110% offset but we keep paying the power company and sunrun. We are saving nothing, it costs us money and I'm in Arizona with 330 days a year of sun. They don't monitor your system, you do and you pretty much have to guess to see if it's working. Customer service is poorly trained and will give you the run around constantly. They were fine until we signed but now they're just awful. We have an under performing system that can't supply power for a household of 2. Ridiculous!


Reviews for SolarCity

Helpful Favorable Review

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Sawyer D

February 27th, 2021 Ogden, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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Thanks for allowing a system size under 3 KW. I was told you wouldn't for a loan, but for cash, you did. Haven't had any technical issues. I'm afraid if I did, I'd be on my own or face long long hold times. Also, your offer of move the panels for $2000 is too good to be true. They should have insisted on attic run for conduit. Very nice crew, they did offer some special install services, but attic run should have been seriously impressed on me.


Helpful Critical Review

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johns621

February 27th, 2021 Barnegat, NJ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border

Solar City Was the original company. As you know Tesla now owns it. We have a serious roof leak 5 years after installation. Contacted Tesla 11/5/2020 about this. There are enough leaks that the system will need to be removed to repair the roof. I was told by Tesla that they could come in February. Was given a case number and informed that someone would be in contact with me. A 3 month wait.


The Final Word

Availability
Sunrun and SolarCity both provide solar services in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Sunrun also operates in Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, while SolarCity does not. However, SolarCity offers service in Oregon and Washington, while Sunrun does not.

Payment Options
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer a variety of ways for customers to get a solar energy system on their roof, including outright purchases, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Sunrun has a bit of an edge in terms of solar leasing and PPA agreements, as the company pioneered those options and made them a large part of its business model today.

Equipment
Sunrun utilizes high-quality equipment from reputable manufacturers such as Canadian Solar and SolarEdge for its projects, while SolarCity manufactures its own solar equipment, including Tesla’s Solar Roof product, which is a unique option within the industry.

Installations
While Sunrun performs most of its solar installations with its own crews, the company will occasionally outsource installations on remote homes to third parties, which may lead to variance in workmanship quality and overall experience. SolarCity, on the other hand, does not outsource any of its installations, but some customers have reported problems with delayed and incorrect installations.

Warranties
With up to a 25-year equipment warranty and a 20-year workmanship warranty, Sunrun offers lengthier product and labor coverage than SolarCity, which provides a 20-year equipment warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty.

Battery Storage
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer battery storage options. Sunrun’s battery storage option is called Brightbox, and it can be purchased or leased. SolarCity provides Tesla Powerwall batteries, which are compact and made to seamlessly integrate with other SolarCity equipment, but must be purchased; there is no lease option.

Referral Program
Sunrun and SolarCity both offer a referral program. Sunrun pays customers $350 for each friend they refer to the company, while SolarCity offers a $250 referral payout.

Recommendation
Sunrun and SolarCity offer similar payment options and battery storage selection. Sunrun has a bigger service area than SolarCity, offers longer equipment and workmanship warranties, and provides a larger referral bonus. For these reasons, Sunrun is recommended over SolarCity for individuals who live within the company’s operational area.

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